This helpful DIY guide provides tips about how to install a pondless waterfall, covering its benefits and steps you’ll take for installation.

This water feature is also called a “disappearing” waterfall because the water just flows into the ground at the bottom. In most cases, the water flows through a bed of decorative gravel or pebbles that covers a hidden reservoir or tank.

ceramic pot waterfall spilling water in garden feature
Outdoor Water Feature

Of course, a pondless waterfall does not allow you to raise fish, and planting possibilities are limited to flora along the side. But there are definite advantages:

• It takes up minimal space. You may choose to include several stream segments and falls, but in a small space you could simply have one or two short falls with a short stream.

• It’s easy to maintain. You don’t have to worry about taking care of plants and fish, and there are few places where leaves and other debris can collect.

• You don’t have to worry about small children or pets falling into a pond.

• It uses a minimal amount of water.

• You can turn it off when not using it.

To install a pondless waterfall, you will need to excavate for the stream, cut and lay a flexible liner, and position stones for the waterfall. You’ll also need a submersible pump (with filter) of sufficient strength to send water to the top of the fall and a length of hose to reach the top.

To construct the underground reservoir, also called a cobblestone or gravel reservoir, dig a hole and set into it a plastic bucket or garbage pail. In the bucket, position the pump, and run the electrical line and tubing. Cover the bucket with wire mesh, and place gravel or pebbles on top. Or, purchase a special reservoir made for a pondless waterfall, set it into a hole, install the pump and hose, and cover with stones.

Featured Resource: Get a Pre-Screened Local Outdoor Waterfall Installation Pro

Author Image
About Don Vandervort
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years, as Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996. Read more about Don Vandervort